Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (Activision)While Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 won't hit store shelves for more than six months, it's already setting records.
Amazon reports the game, which was just announced this week, is on track to become the most pre-ordered game in its history, outpacing Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops and…um, well, a bunch of other Call of Duty games.
"Preorders from day 1 of Black Ops 2 were more than 10 times the amount of preorders for the first Black Ops on its first day of availability," an Amazon representative told GameSpot. "Black Ops 2 even out preordered the first day of availability for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 by more than 30 percent."
Those are numbers for Amazon's US branch, but the appeal looks to be global. Amazon UK says pre-orders for Black Ops 2 were three times higher than the original game.
In neither case did Amazon provide hard numbers for pre-sales.
The new installment in the franchise will send players into the future. While one-third of the game takes place in the 80s, the rest is set in 2025, with a focus on advanced robotic warfare. Activision, though, notes that the game remains firmly rooted in real military research and technology.
That could give a nice boost to the series, which some feared had shown early signs of reaching a sales peak. It was, after all, the decision to move Call of Duty out of the World War II era and into modern times that kicked the series into overdrive and helped it become the phenomenon it is today.
To keep the franchise going strong, Activision also plans to offer a branching storyline based on player actions and to tweak the game's popular multiplayer components, though it's keeping details about those changes under wraps right now.
"Instead of just extending multiplayer from Black Ops, we thought critically about what cows are sacred. Do we keep something just because it worked last time?" said Game Design Director David Vonderhaar. "Some people play to become pro, others only load it up casually once or twice a week. Our multiplayer won't be 'one game mode' anymore."